From the Author
A: Definitely, the first 16 stories. It's amazing how difficult it is to write a very short story, around 200 words. It's hard to have much depth, or to really get into the story or develop any characters. But I felt it was important to start with shorter stories, to make the reading less intimidating and the questions easier to answer in Part 1.
Q: Which are your favorite stories from this book?
A: My favorite stories are in Parts 2 and 3. (Too bad the book doesn't begin with the best stories. Again, I didn't want longer, more developed stories to intimidate anyone starting out.)
- I really enjoyed writing the three-part stories. Stories 35-37, "Royal Ball," and Stories 40-42, "Mermaid Surprise," I really had fun developing. Being three parts, I could really go into more detail. Plus, with "Royal Ball," I really fell in love with the idea of showing how the most important parts of being a princess are on her inside.
- Another of my favorites is Story 25, "Best Friend." One thing I remember from my schoolgirl days is that we all have to learn to get along with others. This story reminds us how asking a simple question might hurt somebody's feelings. Perhaps the plot will encourage girls to consider how they would handle such a situation.
- Last, but not least, is Story 50, "Reading Club." One of the girls in areading club sparks a debate with a question: "Could reading too manyfantastic stories be a bad thing?" I hope it proves to bethought-provoking.
A: The stories were written with ages 7 to 10 in mind, but I believe that older girls may also enjoy them.
The language was kept familiar for early elementary readers andmulti-syllable words were used less frequently to help make the readingaccessible. One hope was to encourage reading practice by minimizingpotential barriers like challenging language and tricky reasoning. Butnot all kids are equal in language ability, so it was no easy task.
Stories 1 to 16 fit on a single page so as not to be too intimidating, and grow to 2-3 pages in Stories 17-48. More advanced students may tackle thelonger stories if Part 1 proves too simple (or they might breeze through Part 1 quickly anyway).